|63 – Laz Díaz|
Díaz in 2011
March 29, 1963 |
|MLB debut||June 23, 1995|
|Career highlights and awards|
His professional umpiring career began after he attended the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School in 1991. He worked his way up to the International League for the 1995 season. Díaz was one of the 22 umpires promoted to the major leagues in the wake of the Major League Umpires Association's mass-resignation strategy in July 1999. Prior to his professional umpiring career, he served in the Marine Corps Reserves. Díaz's hand-to-hand combat skills were displayed on the baseball diamond when he was attacked by an intoxicated fan while umpiring first base in a game at Chicago's Comiskey Park in April 2003. He easily stifled the attack, and the fan (Eric Dybas) was later sentenced to up to 180 days in jail and one month of probation for aggravated battery.
On Sunday March 7, 2010, Laz Díaz was inducted to the Cuban Hall of Fame.
During a game on May 30, 2012, Díaz got into an unusual argument with New York Yankees catcher Russell Martin. According to Martin, Díaz punished the catcher for disputing the strike zone by not letting him throw new baseballs out to the pitcher (a preference of Martin's) and claiming that this ability had to be "earned." MLB Executive VP for Baseball Operations Joe Torre spoke to Díaz and Martin about the incident, but Martin said he does not expect any disciplinary action for either man.
- "Umpires by 2013 MLB Crew Grouping, as of June 23rd". closecallsports.com. June 23, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Fan Jumps Umpire In Chicago
- "White Sox Fan Attacks Umpire on Field". Associated Press (firstcoastnews.com). 2003. Retrieved 2008-08-03.
- Muskat, Carrie (December 4, 2003). "Fan pleads guilty to attacking ump". White Sox.MLB.com. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
- Boland, Erik (June 1, 2012). "Russell Martin puts Laz Diaz incident behind him". Newsday. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- Imber, Gil. "Roster: 2014 Opening Series (Sydney, Australia) Umpires." Close Call Sports/Umpire Ejection Fantasy League. Retrieved 16 March 2014.